USA Hockey needs to step in to Tier III hockey and mandate that when a Tier III player gets a call up from aTier II team that the player must be sent up.
Too often now, players are not even being made aware that a higher level team has even enquired about calling them up. Tier III coaches are needlessly asking for compensation from Tier II teams in order for the player to move up.
TJHN would suggest the following:
If a Tier II or higher team makes a call to bring a player up, the Tier III team must be required to send the player up. The Tier III team can then receive a player from the Tier II team to replace the player leaving. The Tier III team would then only be able to charge the balnce of fees owed from the player departing the team. If the Tier III fee is 8 thousand for the year, and the player leaves with a 3 thousand balance, the player coming down from Tier II would only have a balance of 3 thousand to pay. If the tuition is paid in full then the player coming down has nothing left to pay. In the event that the player leaving is released, the player would go back to the team that he left, and the player that replaced him would either be called back up or become a free agent.
Something has to be done. The system is not working and Tier III teams are not moving enough players up to higher levels. Tier III coaches and owners can no longer be allowed to hold players hostage. Tier III teams caught not allowing players to move up should be fined ten thousand dollars for each time the deny the call up.
If Tier III operators want to keep making money, they will have to start making sure players are moved up when the call comes if this system is put in place. If teams arent required to move players up they will continue to only focus on wins in their own league.
Truth be told, does anyone really care who wins anything at Tier III? I dont think so, Isn’t Tier III designed for moving players up and not holding on to them? If thats the purpose, why are teams getting away with not keeping to their stated mission?
There are some Tier III teams that do a great job promoting players, unfortunately they are the minority. The only question to be answered is whether or not USA Hockey has the stones to hold Tier III operators accountable.